Meath All-Ireland winner Frankie Byrne dies aged 94

Byrne was the last surviving member of side who beat Cavan to win 1949 All-Ireland

Meath All-Ireland winner Frankie Byrne has died aged 94. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Meath All-Ireland winner Frankie Byrne has died aged 94. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

The death of Frankie Byrne at the age of 94 means that the last of Meath’s first All-Ireland winning team of 1949 has passed away. A long-time resident of Clontarf in Dublin, he was from Navan.

He played for his county for 12 years between 1943 and ‘55 and played a major role in coaching after his playing career ended. In 1957 he trained the first Meath team to win an All-Ireland minor title and was one of the pioneers of the Gormanstown coaching courses in the late 1960s and ‘70s. He was also involved with Seán Boylan’s early Meath management teams in the 1980s.

A member of Navan clubs Parnells and O’Mahonys, Frankie Byrne also played for Erin’s Hope when a student in Dublin and Clann na Gael and won a Railway Cup with Leinster in 1945.

The 1949 All-Ireland final was a more-than-usually significant event. Cavan were on the trail of a three-in-a-row and a then record crowd of 79,460 attended. Meath had defeated the previous year’s All-Ireland finalists Mayo in the semi-finals and although underdogs, beat Cavan 1-10 to 1-6.

PD Mehigan, writing in the Irish Times, had the following to say: “For Meath, too, the accurate place-kicking of Frank Byrne filled a big place in the register. The little Clann na Gael winger shone otherwise in brilliant solo runs and he was cheered sympathetically when a badly wrenched knee forced him to retire near the end.”

Frankie Byrne remained a well-known and popular figure in GAA circles throughout his life.

He is survived by his wife, Rita, and children Paul, Frankie, Ursula, Deirdre, and Marc and extended family.

MÓB Group will be closing their office on Tuesday February 12th due to the passing of Marc’s father, Frankie Byrne. The office will re-open on February 13th.

Funeral Mass for Frankie Byrne will be on Tuesday morning in St John the Baptist Church, Clontarf Road, Dublin, at 10.0 followed by burial in St Fintan’s Cemetery, Sutton.

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